Memphis Recruit Mikey Williams Reaches Plea Deal in Gun Case; No Jail Time Expected


EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — Star Memphis basketball recruit Mikey Williams pleaded guilty to one felony charge in a gun case on Thursday, and one of his attorneys said he does not expect the 19-year-old to face jail time.

Williams had faced nine felony counts and up to 30 years in prison stemming from a shooting at his home on March 17 in which no one was injured. In a deal with prosecutors, Williams pleaded guilty to one felony count of making a criminal threat and to a special allegation of using a firearm during the threat, attorney Randy M. Grossman said.

In exchange, the other eight counts were dismissed and Williams was ordered to complete a gun safety course, attend anger management sessions and do 80 hours of community service. Sentencing was set for Aug. 12 in San Diego County Superior Court, when the charge would be reduced to a misdemeanor if Williams follows terms of the deal and avoids any criminal offenses, Grossman said. Although a judge would have the discretion to sentence Williams to a year in jail, “no custody is contemplated,” the attorney said.

Grossman said negotiations reached the highest levels of the District Attorney’s office. Williams had faced six counts of assault with a weapon, one count of firing into an occupied vehicle and two counts of making threats that could result in great bodily injury or death. Trial had been set for Dec. 14.

Williams posted a video on his Instagram account that shows him walking away from the courthouse in this San Diego suburb.

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“It’s all over,” said Williams, who was dressed in a black suit and had his arm around a friend or a family member. “I feel good, brother. You know, all glory to God. I’m just happy that I made it out of this situation. I’m just excited to get back on the court.”

The DA’s office didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

Williams, who played at San Ysidro High, is enrolled in online classes at Memphis and remains on the roster but does not have access to team facilities or activities. The school said in September his status with the program would be determined when the court case was resolved.

Grossman said he spoke with Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and athletic director Laird Veatch the week before Thanksgiving to update them on negotiations with prosecutors.

Williams was one of the name, image and likeness era’s earliest stars, securing a multiyear deal with shoe and athletic apparel maker Puma for an undisclosed amount in 2021. Puma spokeswoman Melissa Garbayo said in late October that the company’s relationship with Williams ended earlier this year. once estimated his NIL valuation at $3.6 million, but Williams’ name no longer appears in the rankings.

Williams had been free on a $50,000 bond since his arrest on April 13.

Williams was accused of shooting at a car with six people in it at his $1.2 million home in unincorporated Jamul in eastern San Diego County.

At his preliminary hearing on Oct. 10, Judge Sherry M. Thompson-Taylor ruled that while no witnesses saw Williams fire a gun, there was probable cause to send the case to trial based on testimony that witnesses saw him with a gun with a red targeting laser and heard him threaten to kill them. Assistant DA George Modlin presented photos of bullet holes in an Uber driver’s Tesla Model 3.

Grossman said he and Williams’ other attorney, Troy Owens, “believed it was a defensible case, but juries are unpredictable. The goal was to get Mikey on campus and playing basketball again. It’s what he’s done all his life, which is why we worked with the District Attorney’s office.

“Nobody was injured in this case, nobody testified that anybody saw Mikey actually fire the gun and he didn’t admit he was the one who fired the gun,” Grossman said. “He admitted responsibility and pleaded guilty. He shared with me that he regrets the way it went down that night, owns up to the mistakes he made and wants to work hard to gain the trust of the community and all the people who look up to him as a role model.”

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